April 14th, 2011


Featured Character: Omorth

I know that I have some ace friends in my audience, so I thought you might be interested in this ...

Today's featured character over in [info]torn_world is Omorth, who is asexual.  Omorth is a dancer who dreams of traveling the Empire.  Omorth's specialty, the Trefoil dance, is done in threes with one no-gender dancer, one male, and one female; Omorth has a very close nonsexual relationship with both dance partners.  

This character is adoptable.  Adopting characters means you get control over what happens to them; that makes it easier to write stories about them, draw them, or make arrangements for other people to do so.  (Adoptable characters can be used by any contributor; it's just up to the Canon Board to approve use.)  If you want to see more material that portrays asexual characters in a positive way, this is a good opportunity.  The "Start Here" page for readers gives a general introduction to the shared-world Torn World, and details on character adoption appear under "Character Creation and Ownership."

If you're not sure whether you want to get involved that much, you might want to dip your toe in the water with the Muse Fusion this weekend, running from Friday evening and closing sometime early on Monday.  The call for prompts will appear in [info]torn_world and you can ask for anything you'd like to see more of, including Omorth or other asexual characters.  (You might also check out the healer Kalitelm, who could be interpreted as ace or celibate depending on how you draw the lines.)  Contributors pick prompts to write or draw or otherwise play with.  Most contributors will show their work to the prompter who inspired it, even if the piece itself will be submitted as accessible to supporters only.  The Muse Fusions are a lot of fun, and everyone is welcome to come watch or post prompts.

Poetry Planet

This crossed my desk recently, from Diane Mori:

I'd like to announce the appearance of the first installment of Poetry
Planet on StarShipSofa's podcast. Show No. 184 includes the segment
featuring poetry by Laurel Winter and Bruce Boston. It's in the first
slot, so within the first 10 minutes. Go to http://www.starshipsofa.com or
download it from iTunes.

My intention is to produce Poetry Planet on a monthly basis. This month
more or less just presents the idea, SFPoetry in general, National Poetry
Month and the Rhysling Award Candidates' Announcement. Next month my idea
is "First Contact". If you have written a poem that could be (even
loosely) described in that fashion, and you'd like to hear it on Poetry
Planet, please submit it to me by the end of April. Also, if you know of
any relevant news please feel free to let me know: divadiane at web.de


Interview with Ellen Million

There is an awesome interview of Ellen Million appearing on Shared Story Worlds, talking about her experiences with Torn World.  If you are interested in shared worlds, you'll love this.  It looks at the technical achievements, creativity and worldbuilding, challenges and triumphs, all kinds of exciting stuff.  I happen to think that cyberspace is the natural home of the shared world, a literary concept that has been around for ages but is much easier to practice online.  It's fun to watch things developing.
monster house

Poem: "Grandma's Kitchen"

Here is the extra freebie poem from the "Monster House" series, based on meeting the $150 goal in the April 2011 Poetry Fishbowl.  The prompt came from aldersprig who wanted to see more of Grandma.  (I got some good ideas from other prompts too.)  This is the first poem written from a different viewpoint than our primary narrator, and it features a young girl exploring Grandma's kitchen ... and beyond.

You can read the other "Monster House" poems on the "Serial Poetry" page of my website.

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A Local Example of Hogging the Wealth

The purpose of a university is -- or should be -- to educate students, not to enrich administrators.  Here's a local example of someone hogging resources in a way that harms many other people and undercuts the whole point of the institution.  I think such selfish parasitical behavior is a disgrace, and that a society which applauds it is dysfunctional.

If you have any dealings with the University of Illinois at all, the
strike beginning Monday of the SEIU union may affect you. You may have
to decide if you want to cross a picket line.

If you are invited to an informational meeting, I highly recommend
that you take the time to go.

-- karen medina

Who will be striking?
SEIU Local 73 Chapter 119 is preparing for a strike at the University
of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
More than 800 workers.
- Stagehands
- Building Service Workers
- Food Service Workers

Who did get raises?
There was a 37.5% raise for University President Michael Hogan and
other exorbitant raises for top administrators.

How long have they been negotiating?
- negotiating for 8 months and asked for a federal mediator for 2 months
The University offered:
- a wage freeze
- higher parking fees
- a $200 signing bonus
- a one year increase of less than two percent